Q: What if my jewelry is stolen? What kind of insurance do I need to cover my valuables?
I recently inherited some valuable family jewelry. If someone robs my house, is my jewelry covered by my existing homeowners policy? Who determines how much the jewelry is actually worth?
A: Your homeowners insurance may automatically provide a measure of protection with the contents coverage portion of your policy. Check your policy to see if jewelry is listed for limited coverage. If it is not listed, you will not be able to receive compensation.
If it is, you will be able to receive reimbursement in an amount no greater than your policy’s jewelry coverage limit. Keep in mind that this coverage will be for the jewelry’s wholesale value as determined by the insurance company, and will likely be less than what you paid for it.
Because the limits on jewelry coverage are relatively low on most standard policies, you should speak to your insurance agent about adding a jewelry rider, or endorsement, if you have valuable jewelry for which you want full-value coverage. This will enable you to be reimbursed for your jewelry’s actual value if it is lost due to theft or accidental misplacement.
To ensure that your insurance company has an accurate estimate of your jewelry’s worth, be sure to have it appraised every three years and have a copy of the appraisal sent to your agent. This is important because in most cases, a written appraisal is only good for up to three years.